Friday, January 31, 2014

Easy ways to make Your House more Appealing to Buyers

This is a guest post from Fort Knox Storage, providers of safe and secure storage.

If you’re trying to sell your house, there are a couple of easy ways that you can help make it more appealing to potential buyers. This doesn’t need to involve weeks of effort or tonnes of money, either. To make your home more appealing, all you need is a little time and creativity. Think outside the box and follow these easy steps to ensure your house will sell.


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© Photographer: Paul-andrĂ© Belle-isle | Agency:
Perhaps your house severely needs a paint job, or maybe the colours are a little bland? This can be easily fixed. You don’t need to hire a painter or a designer to spruce up your paint job. It can all be done yourself. Have a think about the kind of feelings you want different rooms to evoke, and choose your colours accordingly. You may want soft pastels in bedrooms, and bright, bold colours in the living area. It’s entirely up to you. Consider a feature wall too. This can be as simple as one wall being a different colour to all the rest, or you could go out on a limb and paint some kind of design. Look into interesting wallpapers and stickers for your walls. There are a number of attractive products you can buy to decorate your walls and theme your home. Similarly, you may wish to do something a little more creative. A mural or some kind of artistic design can be a real winner. Potential buyers will love the originality that no other home can offer. A few options include stained glass windows, DIY painting or mosaics.


Your garden is a wonderland of potential opportunity. There are so many things you can do to encourage buyers. Sculptures, carefully thought out garden designs and features are just a few. Spend some time pruning the plants and see if you have any sudden inspiration to do something with your garden. Outside areas are often sought after for entertaining. Potential buyers will love the opportunity to buy a house with a unique and special entertainment area.


Kids can be easily won over, and you don’t have to do anything drastic. There are some lovely wallpapers and stickers for kid’s rooms or nurseries. Potential buyers may have never thought about something like this, and your efforts may just push them over the line in deciding to buy your house. You can use the outside area to your advantage to. A sandpit or a swing are easy things to install and a winner with any child.

Don’t feel like you have to go to any great lengths to spruce up your home to potential buyers. The smallest effort may just have the greatest effect. Imagine that you are buying a new home, and think about what features would make your dream home that wow factor. If you take care and keep your own interests in mind, you’re sure to make a difference. For more information about making your home more appealing visit

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How To Give Your Backyard A Feeling of Zen: 4 Tips

This is a guest post from Barbeques Galore, synonymous with barbeque retailing and is built on the strong foundation of selling barbeques to Australian consumers since 1977.

In between the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s good to find a space where you can truly relax, and just get away from it all. Making your backyard that place is easily do-able, and a great addition to your home. If you haven't maximised your outdoor space to create a place where you can “Zen out”, don’t worry. It really isn’t too difficult (in terms of home improvement) to create a space that even a monk would feel comfortable in. In case you need a little inspiration in creating the perfect Zen-style backyard, read on. Here are 4 tips to making your backyard the perfect home retreat.

1. Choose the right furniture.

One of the things that can make an outdoor space more Zen-like is the furniture you choose to use. Updating your outdoor furniture (see for some ideas on just how you can furnish your backyard) and using pieces that you’re comfortable in is a great start. Don’t be afraid of getting a little creative, and mixing more traditional pieces with the truly bizarre. Of course, less is more when it comes to creating a Zen space, and you’ll want to ensure the cushions you choose to use can withstand the elements, blend well with the overall design, and are comfortable. You can also arrange your furniture in a way that allows people to interact more with each other, or promotes quiet and relaxation. For example, space your furniture out for a more relaxing environment, or place them close(r) together to promote interaction.

2. Add creative art pieces.

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© Photographer: Mary Lane | Agency:
One of the most important aspects to creating a relaxing space is the look and feel of that space. If your backyard is cluttered and full of things that remind you of what you “should” be doing, then it will be more difficult for you to wind down. Try decorating your yard and patio with interesting art pieces, like standalone statues, or simple, glazed pottery pieces. Use this opportunity to add relaxing colors to your space such as deep blues, greens and purples. The important aspect is to create a space that makes you feel relaxed. Get creative and eliminate the clutter while adding pieces that make you feel comforted and at home.

3. Install an outdoor sound system.

Another way to increase your level of relaxation in your backyard is to play relaxing music. Set up your own outdoor sound system and play music that lulls you into deep relaxation. Have an iPod with your favorite playlist or CDs available for your outdoor sound system, and simply click play to relax. Easy, and effective!

4. Plant a garden.

If your backyard has a wild look right now, consider creating a garden space. You can add stone or concrete benches and pebbled paths along with a range of plants, like bamboo. For some, the act of gardening alone brings a feeling of accomplishment, as well as relaxation. So even if you don’t have a green thumb, don’t be afraid to get a little dirty, and plant some nice greenery in your little place of paradise.
Creating a relaxing and contemplative outdoor space in your backyard is an excellent addition to your home. It isn’t difficult to pull off, and the above are only just some of the ways this can happen. So get creative with your outdoor space, and start making changes that will culminate in a backyard that brings you closer to inner peace.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Caring for Power Tool Batteries

This is a guest post from A1 Batterypro, a family owned and operated business specializing in Batteries, Solar Panels and Auto electrics.

Power tools are handy to have around if you’re a fan of fixing up your house or of DIY projects. Most power tools have built in batteries that are made out of different type of metals: Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride, and Lithium-Ion. Here’s a handy guide to the kinds of metals that are usually used in power tool batteries.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

This is a type of rechargeable battery that operates at 1.2 volts per cell. Note that conventional cells have 1.5 volts. These batteries are also lighter than NiCad batteries but have a shorter run time. It’s important to note that NiMH batteries don’t perform too well in the cold weather so keep it in mind if you’re thinking about using it in winter.

Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)

NiCad has longer life cycles compared with NiMH. You can also expect your NiCad-powered tool to do its job pretty well during a cold day, however, expect some added weight to your power tools if you use this type as NiCad batteries tend to be a lot heavier than others.

Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)

Li-Ion batteries are currently the favourite when it comes to powering up various gadgets and tools. It has the best performance in a variety of temperatures (but not extreme cold) compared to NiCad and NiMH, and is surprisingly lightweight as well. The shelf life of Lithium-Ion batteries is not dependent on how heavily they’re used or how many times you charge them so be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications to find out how long you can use it.

Regardless of battery type, you might notice that your favoured battery’s performance tends to taper off especially when it approaches the end of its life so here are some ways to prolong your battery’s life.

Keep it clean

Some power tools need to be used in landscaping and construction projects which may expose them to all sorts of environmental materials such as dirt, sand and mud. To keep tools running smoothly, clean the battery contacts with cotton swaps and rubbing alcohol.

Keep batteries away from the charger

After your batteries are charged, remember to always remove them from their charging docks or cables to prolong the life of the battery. When batteries are charging, they generate a significant amount of heat which may be detrimental to the health of the battery in the long term.

Smart charging behaviour

For Li-Ion and Ni-Mh batteries, remember to never let them completely discharge when using them. If you’re planning on packing away your power tools for extended periods of time, ensure that they are charged at least to 50% before storing them. Li-Ion batteries tend to lose their charge at a slower rate as compared to Ni-Mh when not in use.

If you follow these steps and care for your batteries, you’ll be able to prolong and extend the life of your power tool batteries in the long run. If you’re looking to replace batteries, check out online stores like A1 Battery Pro, where you’ll find a huge range of batteries for all your favourite man tools!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

3 Home Renovation Tips on a Budget

This is a guest post from Coral Homes, one of the largest, most respected home builders in Australia, with a vast building area and display home network spanning across much of Queensland and New South Wales.

When most people think of home renovations they think in terms of a big budget. Renovations have a reputation for being expensive and for running over budget. This is often a deterrent for homeowners who would like to make some changes. There are ways to renovate your home on a shoestring budget. It may take a little more research, imagination and elbow grease, but it can definitely be done.

It’s All Relative

Free Stock Image: Modern House Picture. Image: 133356
© Photographer: Ragne Kabanova | Agency:
Many people would like to buy a bigger home or perhaps one with an extra bedroom, a larger kitchen or a bigger deck for entertaining. Selling your existing home and buying a new one will cost lots of money in terms of real estate agent’s fees, property tax and legal fees. It may be a cheaper option to renovate your existing home. You will need to make sure you do not overcapitalise on your investment though, which simply means beware of spending more on your home than you can recoup at a sale.


Begin by doing your research. Check out builder’s websites for design ideas and also pricing. It’s also a good idea to look at the costs of building a new home at so you can be sure you are not spending too much on renovations if buying a new one won’t cost you much more.

Cheap Kitchen Renovations

One of the most common areas that homeowners want to renovate is the kitchen. Growing families and out of date or poorly designed original kitchens are given as the main reason for renovation. Putting in a new kitchen can be very expensive. Is it possible to refurbish your existing kitchen? Perhaps your cupboards and bench tops are still in good order, they just need to be freshly laminated or painted. You can even paint dated splashbacks these days with a product called Tub and Tile paint. So if your splashback is a little retro, you can give it a modern look without the expense of replacing it.

Bedroom Makeovers on a Shoestring

Bedrooms are next on the list of most commonly renovated areas. Before spending big money on renovations to your bedroom, consider whether you can give it a brand new look for a fraction of the expense. Replacing worn carpet with lovely new carpet will be a great start. Carpet prices are very competitive. Try adding a coat of new paint, perhaps a bright new lighting fixture and rug. Storage is all important in your bedroom, so consider adding some lovely wall shelving painted in a great contrasting colour.

Budget Bathrooms

Bathroom renovations are often expensive. New fixtures and plumbing does not come cheaply. The main aim of a bathroom renovation is to make the room like larger, brighter and fresher. These goals can be met another way. Grab some Tub and Tile and paint over old, shabby tiles. Get rid of your old shower curtain and install a clear glass shower screen. You can also replace old and worn taps and showerheads with new water-saving ones.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Must Have Protective Gear on a Construction Site

This is a guest post from WIA, provider of construction safety tools and equipment.

Stock Photography: Jib Crane Picture. Image: 101762
© Photographer: Roman Milert | Agency:
Construction sites are dangerous places, full of equipment that can fall, heights than can be fallen off, equipment that can be carelessly mishandled. Homes can be dangerous also. That being said keeping home and a construction site at least fairly safe isn't a problem if you know what you're doing. Here are some things you're going to need to have before you even think about setting foot on a construction site (you can also use these tips to be extra safe when working at home).

Hard Hats

This is thing one on any site and not keeping to the standard is actually illegal, but the average person would still be surprised how many people forget, or take them off to scratch their heads and just don't put them back on. These people generally end up injured or worse. So drill it into every head until your employees are saying it in their sleep. Hard Hats must be worn at all times on site.


Keep yourself properly clothed from head to toe. As hot and heavy as construction sites are there is a temptation to go around shirtless or bare handed. Gloves, steel cap boots and thick clothing are necessary to work on a construction site safely. Even if you aren't in a place where things are going to fall on you and cut you things like the strong UV light from welding, or wood chips or tiny debris flying around caused by someone else working can hurt you.

Safety Equipment

Welding Safety Equipment is extremely important. Welding gets done a lot on construction sites and unfortunately it's a practice where a lot of corners are cut in safety to get the job done quickly. Anyone, doing any welding, even a few seconds of quick maintenance is going to need the full suite. Welding mask, full clothing, thick gloves and a range of other things. Welding is a hazardous business, be prepared.


This might seem a little silly but it's important, people need to be reminded of best practice. So put signs everywhere, signs on the equipment telling people how to use it, signs on an area where vehicles go reminding people to look before they move. Putting a level of information that doesn't seem necessary all over the site might just be the reminder that one employee needs to avoid becoming an accident. Or a body.

Fences/Guard Rails

Stock Image: Cutting Picture. Image: 89251
© Photographer: John Hix | Agency:
Everywhere, these things need to be everywhere. A fence around the whole site, a fence around the more high risk areas, guard rails on everything above a story up. Falling is one of the biggest killers on a construction site and the only way to stop it is to literally make it impossible. Accidents are sadly common in situations like this
Safety has to come first if it's going to happen at all. This is just the beginning, the only way to really keep employees safe is to teach them the best way to get the job done, but when the training slips, someone gets lazy, or cocky, or luck just runs out. That's what we make protective equipment for.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

5 Early Signs of Hair Loss for Men

This is a guest post from Transitions Hair Group, providing clients solutions for their hair loss, enabling them to look the way they want to look and be the person they want to be.

Stock Photography: The Wall Picture. Image: 255382
© Photographer: Emin Kuliyev | Agency:
Losing your hair is not fun, no matter who you are. For many men it can greatly affect their self-confidence and cause them a lot of anxiety. The good thing about it is that there are ways of prolonging baldness and keeping as much hair as possible, for as long as possible. The main thing that can prevent baldness from happening is to be aware of the early signs of hair loss and take preventative measures before it’s too late. Here are 5 early signs of hair loss for men.

Hairs in the Hairbrush or Comb

The first sign that you are losing hair, if you are aware of it, is finding more hairs than usual in the hair brush, or comb. When you start to see that there are more hairs than usual coming out of your head then it’s a nice early warning sign that you may be on the slippery slope to baldness. The more you lose, the less you have, so it’s a good time to start thinking about doing something about it.

Receding Hair Line

Another early warning sign that you are losing hair is the old receding hairline. You may notice that you have a lot more forehead than you did before, or that the sides of your face seems to be getting more skin where there used to be hair. This is another good early warning sign that there could be some hardcore balding on the way, but it is still early enough to seek treatment and prolong your head of hair for a bit longer.


Another sure sign that you are starting down that road to losing your hair is if it is thinning. If you are a person who has always had thick healthy locks, you may be more aware of it when it starts thinning out, and can act quickly to ensure that you keep it in as best shape as you can. One way to check this for sure is to part your hair and have a look at the density or thickness of hair growth. This will give you a clear idea about what is happening up there!

Small Patches of Thinning Around the Crown of the Scalp

Once it starts thinning out it will usually start to thin out in particular places, such as the crown of the scalp. This is the beginning of what for a lot of men ends up looking like a whole big patch of bald head on the top of their head. When it gets to this stage there is still a chance to seek treatment but the earlier you catch it, the better.

Patches Growing Larger Around the Crown

When you start to get large patches of baldness around the crown you are well on the way to losing your hair, or at least the top part. While for many treatments it may be too late by the time it gets to this stage, but for those who have the money, plugs can save the day and give you back the hair that you have lost. If your hair is at this stage, or any of the earlier stages and you want to know your options check out and see if they can help.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

5 Tips that will Help Speed up your Home Renovation

This is a guest post from Mabey Hire Australia, a team with over 50 years collective experience in the Australasian equipment hire industry.
Stock Photo: Diy Disaster #1 Picture. Image: 61970
© Photographer: Andre Maritz | Agency:

Whether you are renovating to create extra space or renovating to update your outdated layout, there are steps to take to ensure you get the job done, so you can enjoy the end result as soon as possible. Renovations can be stressful, exciting and challenging but any renovation job you do will certainly add value to your home.

Make a list of materials needed for your renovation

Make sure to order early any materials needed for the job. Have the correct tools, nails, fasteners etc. that you will need. Each day throughout the reno, make a note of any items you will need for the following day, so you can start each day totally prepared.

Limit the mess

Every renovation will come with mess. Provide a protective path such as old carpet with the soft side placed face down, drop cloths, EuroMats for chemical protection or where light vehicles will be used, and plywood offcuts outdoors to walk over. Also provide plenty of waste bins or hire a skip bin for larger jobs. Sturdy plastic buckets are ideal for collecting smaller debris to transport outside. Buckets are also great for storing fittings which can easily become lost in the renovation mess.

Set up a tool table

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© Photographer: Laurin Rinder | Agency:
Place a long length of wide plywood over a couple of saw horses and keep all the tools needed in this spot. There is nothing more frustrating than walking from room to room trying to find where you left a particular tool that you now want to use. If necessary, use a small portable compressor. Mini compressors are much easier to carry around from room to room than their larger counterparts. Also make sure to have adequate lighting.

Do it right

Set a budget, but if this renovation is going to last a long time, do it right. Buy quality fittings as they will last and you won’t have to replace them in a couple of years. If your budget doesn’t extend to that, go for a mid-price range. Have a plan in place for each area of your home you want to renovate. Quality fittings and quality tradespeople will ensure you get the job done properly. Taking shortcuts and being cheap may mean extra cost in the future.

Foundations and house raising

If your renovation includes replacing or shoring up existing foundations or raising your home to create a two storey residence, always call in the experts. If you need trench shoring or formwork propping contact Mabey Hire Australia. They will work with your builder to give site advice and support.

The popularity of home reno shows on television have inspired many novices and experienced renovators to undertake home makeovers. Many people really like the location where they live, so a home overhaul seems like the ideal thing to do. Renovating for profit has also seen an increase in the sale of older neglected homes. To ensure you are adding value to your home, research what renovations will add value to your location. City areas have different needs to suburban areas. Outdoor decks, off street parking and large family rooms are all things to take into consideration.